Teen Tweeter Won't Apologize to Dissed Kan. Governor

'I raised my kids to be free thinkers,' says mom of Emma Sullivan

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 28, 2011 1:36 AM CST

(Newser) – A Kansas teen who blasted her conservative governor in a tweet is refusing to apologize—even though she has been ordered to do so by her school. "Just made mean comments at Gov. Brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot," Emma Sullivan, 18, tweeted to pals during a speech by Gov. Sam Brownback at a Youth in Government event. In fact, she didn't diss him to his face, but was "just joking" with friends, she explained later. However, Brownback's aides, who monitor tweets about their guy, complained to Sullivan's school, reports the Kansas City Star. But Emma is defying her principal's orders to write a letter of apology. "I would do it again," the self-described liberal told AP. "I've decided not to write the letter but I hope this opens the door for average citizens to voice their opinion and to be heard," she tweeted.

Sullivan has received letters from attorneys eager to represent her in court, but so far, her principal says the issue is a "private," not public, matter. Sullivan is particularly upset that the governor decided to veto the Kansas Arts Commission's entire budget. "I think it would be interesting to have a dialogue with him," Sullivan said. "I don't know if he would do it, and I don't know that he would listen to what I have to say." A spokeswoman for Brownback has said the teen's comment "wasn't respectful," and that mutual respect is critical for "constructive dialogue." Emma's mom says: "I raised my kids to be free thinkers. If she wants to tweet her opinion about Gov. Brownback, I say go for it and I stand totally behind her."

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback: his aides tattled on Emma.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback: his aides tattled on Emma.   (AP Photo/John Hanna)
Emma Sullivan has decided not to write a letter apologizing for dissing Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback.
Emma Sullivan has decided not to write a letter apologizing for dissing Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback.   (Twitter)
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